As a homeowner, there are fewer things more nerve-wracking and stressful than finding a good realtor to help you sell your home. You want someone who is more than just a pretty face plastered on flyers; you want them to be knowledgeable about the real estate market in your area, to understand your home and its value, and to sell it to the best of his or her ability. So before you go with the realtor who puts those huge, glossy real-estate ads in your local newspaper, here are a few tips for finding a realtor who best fits your needs.
Ask Prior Clients
As with any industry, people who are satisfied with their realtor will happily recommend that realtor to friends and family members. A good realtor will keep excellent records of their prior listings, along with contact information. By speaking with previous clients of the realtor’s, you can determine how satisfied they are with the realtor, what the asking price was versus the selling price, and any other information you might need to know before proceeding with this agent.
Look Up Their License
Like doctors and lawyers, realtors have state licenses they must keep up to date. You can look up this information to see if their license is valid, as well as to see if there is (or has been) any disciplinary action taken against the realtor.
Go By Awards
Unlike many industries, in real estate awards are very significant. So if the realtor you are considering has recently been given an award such as ‘Realtor of the Year’, take that as a significant endorsement. That means they have been judged by their peers as being among the best in the industry.
Look At Their Credentials
Have you ever seen an agent’s name followed by a long trail of latters? That means they have been specialized in certain areas of real estate. Just like a doctor or a lawyer, real estate agents can also specialize in specific areas of the real estate field. Credentials can be granted for various specialties in real estate sales. A few of these include:
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) – These realtors have completed additional training in handling residential real estate sales.
- ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) – These realtors have completed additional education in representing a buyer during a transaction.
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) – These realtors have completed training that will help them to assist buyers who are 50 years of age or older.
Another good tip: If an agent refers to themselves as a Realtor with a capital ‘R’, that means they are a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). These Realtors have taken a specific pledge to support a code of ethics in real estate sales.
How Long Have They Been In Business?
Be careful you don’t end up with a rookie agent! Generally, any agent who has been in business for less than five years should be avoided, as they will likely be learning off of you. You will want someone who has the knowledge and experience of both the area you’re selling in and the price range. You can find this information from the state licensing board, or by asking the agent them self.
Jodi Bakst, a Senior Residential Specialist and Broker Owner of Real Estate Experts based in Chapel Hill, NC, understands the housing needs of seniors and is trained to help them through their transition